Heads Up at Rumney Rocks
April 25, 2010 §
Jerry and I just finished a two day weekend climbing trip at Rumney Rocks. Starting on Saturday we warmed up in the Meadows then headed up to the Jimmy Cliff area. Jerry did a fine job taking on the lead on the two pitch route Lady and the Tramp ? He was able to refine his skills on leading techniques, anchors, and transitions on this route. After we headed over to the right side of Jimmy to climb Nuthatch.
Wow – the place was packed. We took our number a waited a bit to get on the route. It was a heads up day for sure, lots of folks and a casual atmosphere. Rumney is known for its well protected sport routes but the climbs are only protected if the belayers and climbers are maitaining a high level of communication with each other. Hard to do when there is twenty others around chatting at the base. My point is to communicate well with your belayer as you start the route and certainly before he/she takes the rope for you. Make sure you are secure before you commit to the lower.
We continued our circuit and ended up at the main cliff. There was a new posting on the tree by the Armed and Dangerous route. Just a few days prior another climber was lowered off the end of the rope here. Luckily he was ok – with some bumps and bruises. Not the first accident here. Last spring a NH climber was lower off the end of the rope in this same spot and received serious injuries. There are many routes in Rumney or wherever that are longer than 1/2 of the rope length. A sure way to deal with this uncertainty is to close your systems. Closing your system is an easy task which prevents a ground fall.
Here is Jerry giving a well braced belay. Note the knot creeping towards the Gri Gri device. The knot will prevent a failure of the system.
Another shot of the barrel knot jambed against the Gri Gri device. Heads up climbers close your system to prevent being lowered of the rope. Communicate well with your partner as its hard to hear when you are 80 to 100 feet apart – make sure your message is understood.